Footballer ‘had taken drugs’ before roof fall

Kyle Doherty. Picture: Michael Gillen

Kyle Doherty. Picture: Michael Gillen

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A TEENAGE footballer fell to his death from a nightclub roof in Manchester during New Years Day celebrations, an inquest heard.

Kyle Doherty, 19, who played for Stenhousemuir Football Club’s youth team, had taken ecstasy and cocaine and been in a VIP booth at a nightclub with a larger group where they were given £1,000 worth of alcohol, Manchester Coroners Court heard.

The 19-year-old had come down from his home in Scotland to celebrate New Year in Manchester city centre with two friends.

But in the early hours of New Years Day, he got onto the rooftop at Suede nightclub off Deansgate, probably by going through a fire exit and onto an outside staircase.

Mr Doherty had called a friend from the roof on his mobile phone and another friend, Lee Brown, had spotted him and told him to get down.

His body was found the next day after police were alerted by his friends when he did not return to the apartment they had rented.

A post-mortem examination concluded he died from multiple injuries, and coroner Graham Jackson recorded a verdict of misadventure.

No members of Mr Doherty’s family or other witnesses were called to give evidence at the inquest.

Mr Jackson read a series of statements from friends and officials at the hearing.

Kevin Doherty, Kyle’s father, said in a statement on New Years Eve he had dropped his son off at Johnstone train station for the trip south, accompanied by his friends Mr Brown and Darren Lamont.

They drank alcohol on the train and were happy but not drunk when they arrived in Manchester.

They joined a VIP booth at Suede nightclub with 16 in the group and were given £1,000 worth of alcohol and left to serve themselves.

At some point Mr Doherty made his way to the roof space of the club.

The court heard a fire exit led to an outside staircase, giving access to the roof.

At 1.02am, Mr Doherty called Hayley Gallagher.

In a statement to police, Ms Gallagher said she could tell he was drunk and he said he was on the roof.

Lee Brown told police he recalls being on a metal staircase but did not know how or why he got there.

When he saw Mr Doherty on the sloping roof he said he was drunk but not stumbling, and was moving around, and told the young footballer to get down.

Kiara Newman told police that around 1.30am on New Years Day she was outside the club and heard a strange, loud noise.

Mr Doherty’s body was found around 10pm on New Years Day, fully clothed and face down in an alcove, enclosed by four walls, outside the club.

The medical cause of death was multiple injuries, with fractures to his neck, skull and ribs.

A post-mortem examination showed ecstasy and cocaine in Mr Doherty’s body, suggesting recreational use in the hours before his death, and an alcohol level slightly below the drink-driving limit.

Concluding the inquest, Mr Jackson said: “Taking into account the alcohol and the festivities, even though alcohol and drugs probably did not directly cause death, nonetheless, I think they would have played a part in the actions of Mr Doherty, causing him to climb on the roof from where, in my opinion, he sadly fell.”

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